21 December 2014
New Belarus Web Censorship Law and Shutdowns
Date: Sun, 21 Dec 2014 11:09:36 +0000
From: Anton Nesterov <komachi[at]openmailbox.org>
Subject: Latest Belarusian censorship law & censorship actions
Today President of Belarus signed a law which provides heavy regulation
to freedom of speech. Basically, it makes any website media and forbids
"information aimed at the propaganda of the war, extremist activities,
or the calls for such activities, pornography, violence, cruelty, and
any other informations which distribution can harm national interest of
the Republic of Belarus, or forbidden by this law, or by any other
legislative act of the Republic of Belarus". It also force owners of
websites to moderate user-generated content. Any website which violate
this will be blocked. Also the law forbids any media with more than 20%
of foreign investors.
The law was passed really fast, only on 17st it came info parliament,
and today, 21st, it's already signed by president. Nobody ever heard
that such law are coming, even in the rumors.
The law will came into force on 1st January.
Yesterday domain name onliner.by, which hosted Belarusian media portal,
was seized. They moved to onliner.ru.
Media portal 21.by was also blocked.
Two days ago some media was blocked, including charter97.org (they was
already blocked for years for some users), belaruspartisan.org,
gazetaby.com, zautra.by, udf.by, naviny.by, belapan.com, belapan.by.
Minister of Information Liliya Ananich asked media to use only official
sources and write articles in the national interest of the country.
Besides media censorship, there is some financial problems because of
Russian financial crisis. So the govt blocked 13 online markets which
posted prices in US dollars, also 3 websites (deal.by, migom.by,
kufar.by) was warned as they had ads on goods with price in $.
prokopovi.ch, p2p currency exchange, was also blocked.
text of the law (Russian)
GPG key: 0CE8 65F1 9043 2B11 25A5 74A7 1187 6869 67AA 56E4